DOHA - An opposition coalition is expected to take Syria's seat at an Arab Summit for the first time on Tuesday, giving a badly-needed boost to an armed uprising to topple President Bashar Assad following an outbreak of factionalism in rebel ranks.
Leading opposition figure Moaz Alkhatib, one of the most popular figures in the revolt against Assad, plans to speak to the gathering of Arab heads of state in Qatar, for whom Syria's increasingly sectarian war is the main concern.Alkhatib jolted the opposition coalition and its Arab backers on Sunday by announcing his resignation as head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, blaming the world's failure to back the armed revolt.
Nevertheless he, or a colleague, is also expected to take Syria's chair, vacant since the Arab League suspended Syria in November 2011 in protest at Damascus's use of violence against civilians to quell dissent.
"Arab foreign ministers have requested that the Syrian seat be given to the opposition. This will be discussed at the summit," an Arab League official told reporters.